Kindergartens and nurseries across Ho Chi Minh City have closed after an outbreak of hand, foot and mouth disease.
Parents reading a notice announcing Vang Anh Preschool’s closure due to hand, foot and mouth disease
Vang Anh Preschool in District 8 closed on July 13 after issuing a notice on its gate to parents.
A member of staff said, “The school has strengthened precautionary measures against the disease in the past few months. However, one student was recently confirmed as having the disease when he returned to school following an illness that his parents thought to be just a sore throat. We later had the local health authorities examine all other students,” he added.
Several other preschools in District 8 and others in Tan Phu District have also shut, causing inconvenience for many working parents. Some parents are seeking temporary places to send their children; while others have been forced to take their children to their workplaces.
Trieu Tuan, Head of the District 8 Education and Training Department, said 10 children had contracted the disease in the last month, one of whom later died.
From now until August 20, about 30 state-owned preschools in the district will be closed due to the spread of disease, he said.
Ten schools have reported children infected with hand, foot and mouth disease, including Bong Hong, Bong Sen, Kim Dong, Tho Ngoc, Tuoi Hoa, Tuoi Tho and Vang Anh kindergartens.
According to Dr Truong Huu Khanh from the Ho Chi Minh City-based Pediatrics Hospital No. 1, the hospital continues to receive 70-100 children with the disease every day, many in critical condition. Some 160 to 200 children were admitted as inpatients at the hospital daily.
Pediatrics Hospital No. 2 has received 60 new cases of hand, foot and mouth disease every day. Two children died of the disease at the hospital last week.
Dr Nguyen Dac Tho, deputy director of the municipal Preventive Health Centre, said, up to 500 children a week are hospitalised due to the disease, a dramatic rise on previous years.
As of June 9 this year, the disease had left 12 children dead, including seven in May.